In a recent article we discussed the importance of maintaining an active blog for your veterinary practice. That article went into details about how often you should post, what to write about and how to manage the schedule of posts. What it didn’t cover was the actual role your veterinary blog plays in the overall success of your practice. Veterinary blogs are more than just ways to deliver helpful information – they’re also tools to build and foster relationships. Here are a few tips on how you can use your veterinary blog to connect with your clients and prospects on a more personal level.
Really Listen – It’s almost impossible to give each and every client you encounter on a daily basis your undivided attention, yet this relationship-building piece is a critical component of your practice’s success. Use your blog as a vehicle to connect with your clients and prospects and take the time to listen. Read through the comments people leave and respond thoughtfully. Asking for feedback and responding to it will show your audience that you’re listening and you care.
Make it About Your Audience – Coming up with topics to write about for your veterinary blog should be approached from the point of view of your audience. As veterinarians, we tend to lean toward more clinical topics, but that’s not what your clients and prospects want to read about. Put yourself in their shoes and gear your content around what they would want or need. This will provide your audience with content that interests and engages them, and that entices them to keep coming back.
Ask Them What They Want – If the goal is to provide your audience with content that satisfies their needs and wants, what better way to find out exactly what those needs and wants are than by asking them? Poll your audience and ask them to suggest things they’d like to see more of, or perhaps something new they’d like to learn about. As a bonus, this takes the pressure off of you and your staff because you don’t have to brainstorm content ideas, and your audience will be thrilled to know that you’re truly interested in helping them.
Make Your Engagement Long-Term – It’s great to interact with someone once, but to truly build a lasting relationship you must be committed to ongoing engagement. Regularly encourage your readers to comment and offer their opinions, and make it a point to consistently respond. This ongoing communication will nurture your relationships with your existing clients and show prospects what a quality, caring and compassionate practice you run, thereby enticing them to become a client as well.
Become a Trusted Resource – By regularly blogging, you can effectively position yourself as a resource that the people in your community will come to know and trust. Existing clients will appreciate the helpful information they can always count on from your veterinary blog, and when prospects search for pet related topics online, your optimized posts will show up, providing them access to the information they need. The more these prospects come to know and trust you, the better the chances that when they face the need for veterinary care, it’s your practice that they’ll naturally want to turn to for help.
Blogging is more than just writing nice articles and using keywords. Your veterinary blog should be the driving force behind your website, and an indispensable tool for connecting with and building those critical relationships that will help keep your practice successful now and into the future.